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The knowledge, attitudes and preparedness of Australian paramedics to manage intimate partner violence patients – a pilot study

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Sawyer, S, Williams, A, Rotheram, A ORCID: 0000-0002-8488-1719 and Williams, B 2018 , 'The knowledge, attitudes and preparedness of Australian paramedics to manage intimate partner violence patients – a pilot study' , Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, vol. 15, no. 2 , pp. 1-11 .

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Abstract

Introduction:Australian ambulance services are currently attempting to improve their capacity to respond to intimate partner violence(IPV) patients, which is a significant contributing factor to the morbidity and mortality of women. Leading healthorganisations have called for increased training for frontline health care workers, however there is a paucity of literatureon the current preparedness of Australian paramedics. A description of the preparedness of Australian paramedics tomanage IPV patients has the potential to inform curricula and practice development.Methods:We surveyed a cohort of qualified Australian paramedics using the modified Physician Readiness to Manage IntimatePartner Violence Survey.Results:We received 28 completed surveys (16.5% response rate), that revealed most respondents (89.3%) believed they hadencountered IPV patients while working as a paramedic, yet only one participant reported comprehensive education ortraining on the management of such patients. Participants reported low knowledge and preparedness to manage IPVpatients. Participant attitudes were poor for self-efficacy, confidence and preparation, and generally neutral for itemsregarding attitudes toward women and IPV patients.Conclusions:This study adds to mounting evidence that paramedics frequently encounter IPV patients, have insufficient educationand training, and are not prepared to manage such patients. While the results of this study should be interpreted withcaution due to a low response rate and small sample, it appears that Australian paramedics would benefit from targetededucational packages that provide the necessary knowledge to recognise and refer patients, modify inappropriate orinsufficient attitudes, and prepare paramedics to effectively manage IPV patients.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Sawyer, S and Williams, A and Rotheram, A and Williams, B
Keywords: Paramedic, Intimate partner violence
Journal or Publication Title: Australasian Journal of Paramedicine
Publisher: Paramedics Australasia
ISSN: 2202-7270
Copyright Information:

The Official Journal of Paramedics Australasia © 2018

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